Interested in fashion and embroidered textiles from an early age, I was fortunate in following this path throughout my working life, first in the fashion industry and later into teaching. My textile printing practice though, is a recent development.
Influences have been many but currently I am enthralled by Shahzia Sikander, who started out training as a miniature painter but now makes the most amazing film installations, full of pattern and explosive colour, and Yayoi Kusama, who, like me, is obsessed by spots, dots and circles.
My work is about exploring the emotions and feelings that arise from my starting point: reflecting the colours, patterns and textures that have interested me in the first place. By exploration of the original idea, works develop that hold the elements of the subject, but render it in an abstract form.
Several themes have been influenced by my frequent visits to India, but not perhaps the obvious ones. The weather stained and blackened painted kiosks from the 18th century found in Shekhawati in Rajasthan sparked off a series of small works, Dark Elephant is one of these. The juxtaposition of a modern, tall glass fronted building surrounded by bamboo scaffolding was the basis for the Guwahati Blue series and the serene, green Kerala backwaters have been the most recent influence.
An earlier series evolved from signs and symbols as illustrated in a 1920 handbook by Grey Wolf. Still Waiting is based on a square within a square which depicted the symbol for ‘wait here’.
The technical processes of layering, of dyeing, printing and stitching bring their own serendipity – not everything can be planned in advance, resulting in new directions, different solutions, challenging but exciting too.
MA art and design 1993
Cert Ed 1981
BA Hons fashion 1976
Available for: Exhibitions and commissions